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Festivals in Norway in 2013

Four festivals in Norway, Folk, Rock, Jazz and Opera, fit for any listener this summer

 Norway tends to be overlooked by European festival goers. It’s a little too expensive and a little too cold to be an obvious choice, lacking the scorching rays of Benacassim and the low prices of Exit. Despite the relative indifference of international ears, Norway has been cultivating an incredible festival scene.

It can’t compete with the sweaty raves of Southern Europe, so it doesn’t. It provides an alternative option, ingenious collections of artists playing extremely high quality music in stunning natural environments. Norway’s festival scene is relatively low on electronic music but rich in rock, folk, opera and jazz. Here’s a few of the best festivals beneath the clean Norwegian summer sun this year:

Norwegian Wood

 Norway’s top rock music festival from 13th – 16th June

Norwegian wood festival Norway, Alternative festivals in Europe

Norwegian Wood is held in the open-air Frognerbadet in Oslo. The festival presents both big international stars and gives relatively unknown Norwegian bands a chance to perform at their first festival. Norwegian Wood draws a broad audience – you find a dense crowd of people of all ages on the grass hill in front of the stage. Through the years, the main stage has hosted artists like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Sting, Bryan Ferry, David Bowie, Roger Waters, Tori Amos and Lou Reed. In between the headliners, the Underwood stage gives up-and-coming Norwegian bands a chance to present themselves to the festival crowd.

Line-Up (Headliners only)

13th – Keane Noah and the Whale

14th - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Band of Horses I Was A King

15th – My Bloody Valentine , Manic Street Preachers, El Cuero, Rival Sons

16th - Rod Stewart Maria Mena Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

650.00 NOK (£75) for a day ticket, 2100.00 NOK (£240) for all four days


Traditional and contemporary folk/world music from 4th-7th July 2013

Fordefestival Norway, alternative festivals in Europe

250 artists – 25 countries – 90 events – 30 000 visitors

On the Songlines’ list of the 25 best international festivals in the world, Førdefestival has brought 4500 incredible artists together in the past 20 years. This year’s theme is ‘Music & Nature’, celebrating nature for inspiring musical creativity all around the world. Stages will be placed in stunning Norwegian environments; by the fjord, on the mountain top, in the woods and at the riverside and in small and large concert halls. Førde is the perfect location: a small town on the western coast of Norway, 150 km north of Bergen, surrounded by fjords, mountains, glaciers and waterfalls.

The line-up is currently only available in Norwegian, (it will be released in English at the start of May) and can be read here

For example, the Basque trio Kalakan from France will play at the top of Hafstadfjellet, 706 meters above sea level.

There are many different types of tickets available. Tickets for individual shows vary in price. The opening show, for example, costs 310.00 NOK (£35) for an adult but only 50.00 NOK (£5) for a student or a child.


International Jazz Festival from 15th – 20th July

Moldejazz, alternative festivals in Europe

Moldejazz is Norway’s largest, and Europe’s oldest, jazz festival, running since 1961. Initiated by the Storyville Jazz club, its hosted a range of artists throughout the years, from purist aficionados like J.J. Johnson, Roland Kirk and John Schofield to more mainstream acts such as Elvis Costello and Steely Dan as well as the inbetweeners like Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. The festival is located in Molde, often called the “town of jazz and roses”, a small town with breathtaking views of icy mountain peaks. Its population swells from 25,000 to 100,000 each year in July.


Gary Clark Jr. • Giovanna Pessi | Susanna Wallu... • Janelle Monáe • Jon Balke - Artist in Residence • Maverick Sabre • Norah Jones • SIWAN • Sweet Honey In The Rock • The John Scofield Hollowbody Band • Wayne Shorter Quartet

Tickets sold individually for each venue, prices vary between 255.00 – 425.00 NOK (£30 -£60). A 2 day pass is 620NOK (£70).

Opera Østfold

Open-air, biannual Opera performance at Fredriksten Fortress from 5th to 8th of June

Opera Ostfold, Norway, Opera in Europe

This summer they present Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, a biblical story set in Jerusalem and Babylon 586 BC.

Opera Østfold began in 2005 to celebrate Norway’s 100 years independence, creating a new opera to commemorate the fall of Swedish King Carl XII’s fall at Fredrikstein Fortress in 1718. Operas have been performed at this stunning historical venue twice a year since. High quality performances are complimented by the unique, dramatic and breathtaking location, in the open air in the midst of the fortress.

Verdi’s Nabucco tells the story of a Babylonian king (Nabucco) who, in a state of confusion and madness appoints himself God, only to lose the throne to his own daughter. Nabucco is a story of war between Babylonians and Hebrews, about sisterly rivalry and about love. The opera is above all known for the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, which during the first rehearsal at La Scala in Milan in 1942 made the stage workers put down their tools, listen admiringly and burst into spontaneous applause.

Ticket prices range from 425.00 – 580.00 NOK (approx £50 - £66)

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